Ude Monastery

In the heart of Georgia, nestled amidst the panoramic landscapes of the Samtskhe-Javakheti National Park and near the border with Turkey, rests a landmark of profound religious significance—Ude Monastery. With a rich tapestry of ancient tales and local lore, Ude's past and present weave together to form an unforgettable cultural experience.

The village of Ude, an endearing repository of medieval charm, is an essential stop on the itinerary of every history enthusiast. Its centerpiece is the Dormition of the Virgin Monastery Complex, the largest among several preserved churches. With foundations that trace back to the 9th century, the monastery has witnessed the ebb and flow of history, suffering the scars of numerous invasions.

In the early 20th century, Ude's Catholic residents replaced the weather-beaten edifice with a grand church that echoed their faith. However, their devotion was tested during the communist regime when worship was forbidden, the Catholic priest imprisoned, and the church relegated to a mere storehouse. In the quiet hush of the night, the villagers found solace in the sole remaining statue of the Virgin Mary, their silent prayers echoing in the darkness.

In the 1970s, the once revered church was repurposed as a local lore museum, preserving fragments of the past within its ancient walls. The political tide turned in 1992, and the Orthodox rites were re-established within the church under the Georgian Orthodox Church.

A bone of contention between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in Georgia, Ude Monastery witnessed significant construction and renovation efforts around the Church of the Virgin Mary starting in 2012. A new fence, bell tower, refectory, and rooms sprung up around the ancient temple, while excavations uncovered fragments of medieval Georgian architecture and tombstones now displayed on the south facade of the temple.

The Ude Monastery isn't just a testament to the past, but it pulsates with life and activity. A nearby nunnery produces wine and traditional Meskhetian dishes such as jerkie and snail marinade. Here, visitors can delve into the nuances of Meskhetian cuisine through master-classes and savor the rich flavor of locally produced wines.

Ude Monastery is a magnificent blend of history, faith, and culture, offering an immersive glimpse into Georgia's cherished heritage and the resiliency of its people. A visit here is not just a step into the past, but also a vibrant encounter with the present.

Nearest to Ude Monastery

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